‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ Already A Controversial Story For DC Comics

The Inquisitr reports that Batman: The Killing Joke continues to garner notice because of its controversial storyline, but it was already one of the most controversial in the DC Comics stable. Firstly, Batman: The Killing Joke is one of the few in the DC Comics universe to receive an R rating, but executive producer Bruce Timm explains that the storyline’s direction was an intentional direction by Alan Moore, Brian and himself, according to Vulture.

“So it’s very human; it’s a very understandable story,” explains Timm about the darkness in Batman: The Killing Joke. “It’s tricky because it’s messy, because relationships are sometimes messy. But to me and to Alan and Brian (Bolland), it was all very fascinating to us to explore that angle.”

But people are still up in arms regarding the relationship between Batman and Batgirl in Batman: The Killing Joke. Some have argued that the relationship is more closely linked to that of a father and a daughter, so some of the action that occurs in the prequel portion of The Killing Joke seems an unnecessary reach towards the controversial and the lascivious for DC Comics. That said, Nerdist notes that Batman: The Killing Joke becomes more of a story about Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, and recognition of the tragedy that occurs.

“Barbara is written as complex and interesting here, maybe more so than she ever has before in any animated version,” writer Eric Diaz explains. “So when tragedy strikes her in the main storyline, it becomes her tragedy, instead of just an exploitation of her pain and misery as a motivating factor for the men in the story.”

There is, as one might expect, some complaints about the portrayal of Barbara Gordon in Batman: The Killing Joke, with some questioning the necessity of the direction in which the relationship between Batman and Batgirl goes.

“I’ve seen better and superior versions of Batgirl in the older animated series and Young Justice, a show where she was capable of taking on Lobo for Grodd’s sake,” LazyGamer writer Darryn Bonthuys notes.

Regardless of how viewers might perceive Barbara Gordon in Batman: The Killing Joke, viewers seem to be relatively happy to see what has been viewed as a seminal Joker story come to the big screen, although the execution of the story might not be to everyone’s taste. Some are saying that Batman: The Killing Joke is one of the most faithful page-by-page retellings of a story that has come out of DC Comics for some time, in spite of the controversy that surrounds the story.

Certainly, Batman: The Killing Joke is one of the darkest stories in Batman’s canon and offers some insight that Joker fans are looking for into how the Joker actually came to be. Timm notes that even though the story might be about how Joker comes into his own, there is also the untold angle of both Batman and Barbara Gordon making mistakes that neither really discusses in the aftermath of their encounter, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“There’s clearly an unstated attraction between the two of the characters from the very beginning and I think it’s there in the comics,” Timm explains. “If you go back and look at the Adam West show, it’s there in the Adam West show. It’s subtle, but to me it’s always been there.”

While there are fans that would disagree with Timm’s interpretation of the relationship between Batman and Batgirl in Batman: The Killing Joke, the film version of Alan Moore’s 1988 graphic novel is certainly one of the most compelling in the DC Comics universe and will no doubt continue to fuel discussion about how the Joker really was “created,” and the power that Batgirl may or may not have.

Batman: The Killing Joke is in theaters today, July 25.

[Image via Bruno from Roma, Italia (The Joker Is Back! Uploaded by SunOfErat) | CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)] | Wikimedia Commons]]